In February, when an investor who made his fortune in Israeli medical devices put his 15 Central Park West penthouse back on the market at $47.5 million, down from his original $80 million tag, the price slash was probably the most grotesque New York will ever see.
But cuts nearly as monstrous have followed. Last month, real estate heir Richard Mack lowered the price of his un-renovated East 94th Street mansion to $42 million, down from the $59 million he began asking last July. Better yet, this week the Austrian-born investor Gerhard Andlinger cut the price of his 8,300-square-foot Time Warner Center penthouse from $65 million to $49 million. Mr. Andlinger and his wife, whose condo has a red-lacquered library, a screening room and a 41-foot-long living room, were fined $3.4 million along with three others as part of a 2003 settlement with the S.E.C. after an insider-trading investigation.
(Two months ago, The Observer wrote about price cuts at famously huge properties like Julian Schnabel’s Palazzo Chupi, where the triplex and duplex’s collective tag came down from $59 million to $41 million. Those condos haven’t sold.)
Meanwhile, the legendary art dealer W. Graham Arader III, an eccentric maestro in the world of rare prints and antique maps, has cut the price of his seven-story, 10-bedroom, 22-room, 12,000-square-foot mansion at 1016 Madison Avenue from $75 million to $65 million. He now has only the second most expensive listing in New York: Aby Rosen’s townhouse on East 71st Street is still asking $75 million.
Why not a bigger cut? “You know what, my daughter Abigail, who’s 8 years old, and my son Alexander, who’s 4 years old, it’s where they were born. It’s our home,” said Mr. Arader, 58, whose galleries are in the building as well. “I’d killed myself to restore it back to exactly the way it was when it was built in 1900.”
He said the only reason he’s selling the place, next door to Mayor Bloomberg’s future foundation headquarters, is that his short-term memory has started to go: “The overhead of running my business, which is about $450,000 a month, requires that my mind be super-sharp. And it’s not as sharp as it was.” As it happens, he first put the house on the market three years ago for $39 million, but was asking $58 million a year later, then $75 million by last October. “I think we’re right on target now,” his broker, Michael Pellegrino, said.
After the recent price cut, Mr. Arader claims, he got an offer between $55 million and $65 million, which he turned down. (In February, The Observer reported an incredibly similar story from Mr. Rosen about his $75 million mansion, though Mr. Pellegrino backed up his client’s tale.) If that offer was real, why wasn’t it accepted? “Just thought I could get more,” Mr. Arader said this week.
Ambition, voracity and human nature are funny things! “I see a psychiatrist three times a week,” he told this reporter, “so when you talk about the natural qualities of a human being? I don’t think I’m that natural.”